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3x3 Basketball

Team Pilipinas concludes FIBA Asia 3×3 U18 run as silver medalists

Batang Gilas Pilipinas fell short of standing atop the podium after bowing down to the reigning 3×3 world champions Qatar, 21-9, in the FIBA 3×3 U18 Asian Championships 2016 Final Sunday night in Malaysia.

Team Pilipinas failed to sustain momentum after earning a rousing 21-20 come-from-behind finish against host country Malaysia during their semis match-up, which saw them wipe out a huge 15-6 deficit to book the first Finals seat.

The Boy’s Team kept it close early, 6-3, after a John Lloyd Clemente 2-pointer, but the Qataris’ inside game and shooting beyond the arc were too much as they posted a nine-point lead, 15-6, late in the game. Clemente hit another deuce, but Qatar, with Seydou Ndoye and Alen Hadzibegovic taking over, pulled away to the twelve-point win.

“It was a tough loss,” admitted head coach Anton Altamirano after the game. “They overpowered us inside the paint but I still saw that boys held their own against those giants.”

“Qatar is the World Champions so they’re supposed to win, but we were there to give them a run for their money. From Day 1, Qatar told us they wanted us to be in the Finals because they saw how we made them play hard,” he added.

Despite failing to capture the gold medal, Altamirano still banked on the positive notes his young squad displayed in keeping up against the taller Qataris.

“Even though we lost, i still felt we won because the boys displayed what a true Filipino is all about, which is giving your all no matter what until the final buzzer. And they did that,” he said.

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Now that the FIBA 3×3 U18 has reached its end, the NU Bulldogs assistant coach was able to prove that Team Pilipinas can keep up face-to-face with the best teams abroad, with constant trainings serving as key to success.

“We learned that we can compete with the best of the best. I feel that with more time for training, we can do even better. We only got to practice three times for this tournament and we still got to the Finals,” opened Altamirano, who shared that Batang Gilas had limited time to prepare for the tourney.

Rounding up the podium by salvaging third place are the Malaysians as they sent down a promising Japan team, 21-14. In the Women’s Division, it was Japan who won the gold over the taller Kazakhstan, 20-16. Malaysia also won the bronze after a scoreless affair with Singapore.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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